عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: Cracking of earth dams is a one of the main threat causes of stability of embankment dams. In this research by modeling of the behavior of an embankment dam and employing conditions of the earthquake, the reasons of cracking were inspected using by modeling of earth dam behavior. Based on the literature, one of the main causes of dam failures is sliding and cracking of the dam structure during earthquake. Localized liquefaction of foundation soils was one of the causes of the observed post-earthquake distress within these dams.
Material and Methods: In order to study the causes and the results of crack on earth dams, Mahmoodabad earthen dam with a height of 19 m, is located in Zanjan province, northwest of Iran, which suffered a longitudinal crack on the crest and slight sliding of the upstream slope due to 2001 Avaj earthquake was studied. This dam has faced earthquake two times with an interval of two years. During the first earthquake with the magnitude about 6.6 in Richter scale small longitudinal cracks had created on the crest. The developed cracks had been repaired by injecting the cement and then has been hidden by passing the time. After the second earthquake with the magnitude about 6.5 in Richter scale the hidden cracks had been appeared again and the slight movement of the upper slopes of dam reported. Based on the site investigation and documented information about dam, including maps and parameter data, the behavior of the dam has modeled by using Plaxis as a finite element model. In order to check the accuracy of the design of dam, the stability analysis has been conducted using by Xslope as a limit equilibrium model. The foundation conditions and the Geotechnical properties of the layer beneath the dam has been inspected by open excavation.
Results and Discussion: Underground investigation about Geotechnical properties of dam foundation has showed that there is a thin sandy layer confined in alluvium material of the river base beneath the dam structure. In fact , this layer has not been considered in the analysis as well in design. Because of fully saturated condition of this layer in an operation period of dam it might subjected to liquefaction during the happening of the earthquake. Evaluation of liquefaction potential of this layer based on Seed and Idriss (1971) diagram showed probability of this phenomenon. To prove this hypothesis, the stability analysis had been conducted in two different conditions by including the thin sandy layer and without considering the mentioned layer. The analysis showed in the case of absence of sandy layer the required safety factor was satisfied, but including the sandy layer leads cause the safety factor dropped to 0.84 that means accruing of liquefaction in the thin layer would lead to structural instability of the studied dam. The simulation of the behavior of dam by employing the accrued earthquake acceleration confirmed the liquefaction has been accrued in the thin sandy layer. The results of finite element simulation showed the depth of the cracks on the crest is about 2 meters and also the upstream slope has slipped about 81 mm to the reservoir of the dam. These results was consistent with the observed values. To overcome the next risks, also to repair the damaged parts of the dam, 3 different methods had been proposed. The curing technics was deploying of the reservoir and removing of the damage part of the dam and as well the thin sandy layer and reconstructed that part of dam, Deploying of reservoir of the dam and adjusting the slope of the upper shoulder to stable condition and at least repairing the developed cracks by injecting cement slurry and tolerate the current condition without imposition any additional costs to the project. The third method has been selected, but for any probable risky condition monitoring of the dam has been advised.
Conclusion: Based on the overall results of the investigations, it was concluded that cracking and sliding of upstream shell is mainly due to the presence of a loose, fine sandy layer under the base of the dam which was liquefied during the earthquakes. In order to overcome the problem, one of the three offered solutions, including modification of cracks by injecting cement slurry, was applied and after roughly 9 years, the provided reports confirmed the adequacy of the applied solution.